Monday, September 3, 2007

Clara Has her Day In Court on August 29 , 2007

One important issue at stake here was a test of Florida Statues specifically Florida statue 744.462 which states :

-.744.462. Determination regarding alternatives to guardianship
Any judicial determination concerning the validity of the ward's durable power of attorney, trust, or trust amendment shall be promptly reported in the guardianship proceeding by the guardian of the property. If the instrument has been judicially determined to be valid or if, after the appointment of a guardian, a petition is filed alleging that there is an alternative to guardianship which will sufficiently address the problems of the ward, the court shall review the continued need for a guardian and the extent of the need for delegation of the ward's rights.

Interesting enough her guardian was chosen came as a surprise to the family and extended family of Clara G. Fernandez . The petition to elect her new guardian was filed on the day it was heard "without notice" which translates from the legalese into something just short of top secret.

Clara had planned meticulously to avoid a guardianship in the event that she became incapacitated, but in the short 12 months that she was abducted and left alone in a hotel room drugged, she had also been made to sign papers to revoke the power of attorney in place for years and make changes for amendments to her will to be drawn.
And was even more ironic is that the legal battle to take over her assets which may ultimately result in her being taken out of her home is funded by her own money.

When did this become acceptable behavior in the United States of America? How can it be that a widow with the foresight to prepare a will to govern in these exact circumstances can have her wishes overruled without ever being heard or considered while the funds necessary to maintain her home are placed in someone Else's hands and being used to pay exorbitant legal fees ?

We can only hope that the system will eventually work and God's will be done. If not, those of you relying on living wills had best beware.

I inform you that the petition filed by Clara's legal appointed caregiver to allow the less restrictive means to govern was denied , and Clara faces a very uncertain future . A lot of the attention was focused on the younger son who has been Caregiver for Clara for the past 10 years, he has been investigated 5 times by the DCF under false pretenses and exonerated 5 times.
He was put on the stand and cross examined as if he was the guilty party but without show cause or evidence to support any of the allegations of misconduct that were directed at the legal appointed caregiver of 10 years , he was pummeled relentlessly by cross examination by the guardian's lawyers whose only agenda seemed to be to discredit the caregiver who until now had been in control of Clara finances and well being. You would expect that the guardian's attorney would at least make an attempt to appear neutral but all appearances of neutrality were missing it seemed as thou the caretaker himself was on trial.

Clara has had a credit line for years in her home in return she gets to write off $18,000 in interest each year, and the balance the balance on the credit line is $ 223,213.00

The attorneys for the guardian miss-represented to the court that the balance was $260,000.00 and also told the court that the caregiver had taken out the difference. This accusation was made without merit only for the purpose of smearing Clara's current caregiver and to allow the guardians and their attorneys full control over Clara's assets.

This type of miss representation is not new in Clara's case on April 23 2005 Attorney for the social worker , elder son that allegedly left Clara alone in a hotel room when she fell and became totally incapacitated emphatically alleged in Judge Richard Payne court in the 16Th Judicial Circuit in Florida that Clara " She doesn't own any property here".

Clara had lived the last 28 out of the last 29 years in her home in Key West with her husband and held a life estate on her home, but the judge took the attorney word at face value and this miss representation was enough to have venue changed to West Palm Beach where Clara was held against her will and given drugs in excess for a person her age until Judge VonHoff who likened Clara to being bounced around like a "Puppet on a String" and had her returned to Key West where a Determination of Residency could be made.

This latest round about of what could be considered Elder Financial Abuse cost Clara untold thousands and the feeding frenzy shows no sign of abetting.

See related articles published here on E.A.

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